Reading Round Up – March 2020

So far this year I’ve been very lucky with my choice of books. Here’s what I’d read and reviewed throughout March.

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten
This debut crime thriller from Noelle made for an interesting read. Using her knowledge of the probation service, she has woven a tale of domestic abuse and murder.

I enjoyed the story and how so many ‘bookish’ people’s names were used in it. There was always something to think about and developments in the cases under investigation kept me reading.

The characters made me feel a range of emotions from loathing (Patrick and Mick,) to sympathy (Vicky and Lucy.)

I’d recommend this to those who enjoy crime fiction with a bit of a difference – it’s not just a police procedural story, there’s more to it than that.


The Taking of Annie Thorn by C. J. Tudor
I’ve seen a mixture of reviews for this book, some positive, some comparing it to to King’s Pet Semetary. As I was reading it I could see how the comparison could be made, but there are plenty of differences between the stories. It doesn’t just try and copy King.

Moving back and forth from the present day to Joe’s childhood, the story tells about horrific events in a Nottinghamshire town, and why Joe returns as an adult. I liked Joe. He has good intentions, but some of his decisions lead to trouble.

I would have liked an explanation for what the children find in the mine. It’s described, but there’s no reason given for it’s existence. This could have helped explain what happened to Annie and Ben.

Overall I thought this was a good story. I was expecting it to be creepier, but the story was interesting and well written.


Forced To Kill (The Dead Speak #1) by Emmy Ellis
This is the first in a series featuring DI Langham and psychic, Oliver Banks. Oliver helps his local police force out with their murder cases as he often gets dead crime victims talking to him. Not an ability I wish I had, but it does enable the police to start apprehending criminals much faster.

Langham and Banks make for a great pairing. One needing the information the other can provide, leads to the odd disagreement about protocol. But, they always look out for each other.

The case at the centre of the story is symbolised/illustrated perfectly by the cover, and it’s scary how something like ‘Sugar Strands’ could really happen. This is a well written, fast paced and interesting twist on a police procedural story.


Providence by Caroline Kepnes
Jon goes missing on his way to school and the reappears 4 years later, unable to remember his time held captive. His friend Chloe never gave up hope of Jon returning, but is again lost when he goes missing a second time.

I really liked the vast majority of this book. It is vastly different to You, so anyone who has read that and is expecting more of the same – don’t. I feel as though the ending let the rest of the book down. An aspect of the story that runs through most of it needed more of an explanation. I feel as though I don’t understand why certain things happened the way they did.

I actually enjoyed this story more than You, and I liked how the 3 main characters took turns in named chapters. I’m not sure what genre to put this book in, but it was an interesting and entertaining read.


In Her Veins by Emmy Ellis
Carmel has had a tough life, gone through experiences no child should have to, and never felt loved or cared for by her mum.

The first part of the story is Carmel’s childhood from the ages of 5 – 16. I couldn’t help but think that although fiction, the things Carmel experiences are unfortunately real life for many children. The whole book is emotive, but especially this part. No child should be so used and ill treated.

Annette is Carmel’s mother. A heroin user and prostitute. Throughout the book I was horrified at what she put Carmel through. Her head is seriously messed up (not just from the drugs,) but by the end of the book I still couldn’t muster up any sympathy for her.

As Carmel reaches her teens she begins to speak up for herself and leaves home at 16. Has she escaped her past, or will it always haunt her? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

In Her Veins was also my top read of the month. I highly recommend it!

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